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Longwood Gardens, Vacation Recap and Spoils in Winter

I am back from a very fun and restful vacation! Among my journeys was a beautiful visit to a lovely B&B called Sweet Water Farms. I would definitely recommend this B&B – the cottages and the house are so beautiful and they have really awesome dogs, which for me is always a super bonus becuase I love dogs! They also have sheep, fainting goats, horses, whirpools in the cottages, a hot tub, pool, nice breakfasts, etc. etc. etc.

Before arriving at the B&B however, I was treated to a lovely visit to Longwood Gardens, which I cannot begin to gush enough about. What a vision this place is! This is a massive property with a huge indoor and outdoor garden – all sorts of incredible and rare breeds of plant, flower, bonsai, tree, cactus, etc.  Right now they have a show called Orchid Extravaganza running. It’s amazing. Here are a few of the tonnes of photos I took. The whole set is here.

This was one of my favourite flowers:

Some of the orchids:

It was so nice to get inside the greenhouse, the minute you walk in the smell is heavenly. You feel like you are in the garden of Eden or that spring has just injected itself into your soul, right through your nose. I wish I could somehow express the delightful smell of this garden. They had a room with lovely, fragrant citrus trees.

 

I also didn’t know how awesome a nectarine tree is – they grow so interestingly, all spread out very wide. As such, the garden grows them against these gates to support their branches. I am not sure if you will be able to tell how this tree is shaped from the small photo below but worry not – here is the big one.

I was also dumbfounded by the hall of bonsais they have. Some of them are decades old. They looked like diverse forests, in a tiny format, in these little pots. This one has been growing since 1949 but the oldest I recall was 1929 (but that was only when I started to pay attention to the actual dates so there could be some even older).

Next to blow my mind were these great big flowers:



They look like a big fist before they come into bloom.

The entire garden has a romantic, beautiful feel to it and it would be an amazing place for events..they have a lovely ballroom, a giant organ the size of several rooms and you can peer into the back of it at all of the working parts, chimes and knobs.

I definitely have a lot more to talk about form this vacation. It was a lot of fun. I went to an amazing import/antique store, loads of yarn stores…did a little stash enhancement and just generally spent some good time away from the stress of the day to day 9-5. It was much needed and despite falling back in to the crazy schedule, I am still feeling renewed.

One of the nice things about coming home is that I received several packages from Ravelry swaps I have been part of. One of the greatest presents I received was my new Cloak of Ravens that was knitted by my swap partner.

It was from the Mythology swap, in which my partner chose to focus on Freya.
I learned so much about the Norse goddess Freya and wow, what a beautiful mythical being.

Here are a few pictures of my stash enhancement:
Schoppel-Wolle Ambiente (from Lovely Yarns in Hampden)

Claudia Handpainted in colourway ‘Red Wagon’ (from Nangellini in Philidelphia)

Alchemy Juniper (from Loop in Philidelphia)

Since getting back I have been feeling very much like getting lots of things done, prepping for upcoming workshops, etc. and I did manage to get a little shop update done yesterday.
There are a couple new art yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/handspunartyarn.htm
A couple new sock yarns here: http://www.studioloo.com/yarnpages/bootsie.htm
A load of new spinning fibers here: http://www.studioloo.com/spinningfibers.htm

I am also in the midst of preparing the next Muststashyo podcast and shop update. So, much to do but I’m planning to have fun doing it.